German league (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert has suggested fans will not be re-admitted into football stadiums in the country for the rest of 2020.
On March 13, only hours before the start of the 26th matchday, the DFL postponed all leagues amid the coronavirus outbreak in Germany. The upper two tiers were initially suspended until early April but with the crisis worsening, the DFL agreed at a general meeting via a video conference on Tuesday, that is will not be possible for football to return until at least April 30.
And Seifert added that, when football does return to the country, it is unlikely to be played in front of supporters for an initial period.
"Professional football can only function when we play," DFL CEO Christian Seifert told a news conference. "When the time comes, we will be ready and prepared and we are looking forward to it.
"If we can play games, it is to be expected that they will be without fans for some time. Maybe even into the new season or until the end of the year."
Seifert warned that several clubs will run into existence-threatening difficulties should football not return in May. The DFL continues to plan to finish the 2019-2020 season until June 30.
The 36 clubs making up the two upper tiers in German football agreed on a bundle of measures including concepts to produce live games without fans at all Bundesliga locations.
While Seifert believes normality in worldwide football will not be restored until the 2021-2022 season, the DFL chief is hoping to make sure all clubs will come out on the other side of the ongoing crisis.
Broadcasting, sponsoring and ticketing are the three main pillars for German football and while income from the latter has been all but written off, the former two pillars are of the biggest importance for clubs to come out of the crisis.
In mid-March, the clubs were asked to look at "extreme scenarios" and determine who long they would survive without income.
And those scenarios have shown that "should the season not be finished, should the broadcasters not pay their rates, some clubs will run into difficulties in May and others in June," Seifert said, but highlighted that stopping the virus from spreading remains the top priority for everyone in society.